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The federal government has replied to Petition E-2341, and it looks like a warning shot fired towards gun owners.

This summer, you might have heard about Petition E-2341, because gun owners were mobilized from all sides to sign it. Organized as a response to the federal Liberal party’s planned crackdown on sporting and tactical firearms, Petition E-2341 was a “call upon the Government of Canada to put any new firearms laws, bans, buyback programs or changes to licencing before the House of Commons to be debated.” Remember, the firearms restrictions of spring, 2020, were simply enacted by an Order In Council, not by any debate in parliament. Petition E-2341 was started on December 17, 2019, to ask that the government not do that.

Petition E-2341 was the most-signed e-petition in Canadian parliamentary history, with 175,310 signatures. MP Glen Motz (Conservative, Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner) presented it to the House. Here’s the response from Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Joël Lightbound. MP Lightbound said the government simply exercised its authority to “to benefit the safety and security of Canadians, within limits set by Parliament. The affected firearms are prohibited as they (1) have semi-automatic action with sustain rapid-fire capability (tactical/military design with large magazine capacity), (2) are of modern design, and (3) are present in large volumes in the Canadian market.” He also said “We have been clear that our prohibition will not impact the activities of law-abiding hunters or sport shooters,” which will no doubt surprise many target shooters whose rifles have been banned.

Furthermore, Lightbound said the government’s authority to ban guns without debate in parliament “has existed for decades and has been exercised several times over the years. The use of regulations to reclassify firearms was also adopted by the previous Conservative government.

Standing their ground

Certainly doesn’t sound like there’s any intention to back-track on the AR ban or other firearms crackdowns, then, does it? Don’t expect the federal government to backtrack on this move any time soon. But, there’s even more later on, towards the end of Lightbound’s statement.

As any serious Canadian shooter knows, firearms are governed by the feds, which means municipalities are not allowed to enact their own gun bans. However, there’s been talk for years that the Liberals want to enable cities to pass their own handgun bans. Lo and behold, Lightbound closes his reply to Petition E-2341 by saying: “Going forward, we will work with our partners from other levels of government to give municipalities the ability to further restrict handguns in a manner that respects the authorities of all jurisdictions.” Stay tuned on this one, then. No doubt there are bigger crackdowns ahead.